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Sharpening (Read 683 times)
 
Joe Belcher
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Sharpening
Jul 11th, 2017 at 12:42pm
 
Does anyone send their tools out to be sharpened?

I'm not turning yet. I was thinking I'd have to go the carbide tool route, because I don't have the room (or desire) to have both a lathe and bench grinder. But then the thought hit me that tools can be sent out to be sharpened. Does anyone do that? Is it too expensive? Should I just go with carbide tools and quit over thinking things?

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Ed Weber
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #1 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 1:15pm
 
Somewhat of a long answer.
Sending turning tools out to be sharpened.
I'm sure it can be done, but it is impractical for these reasons.
First of all tools such as bowl gouges for example may need to be sharpened several times during one turning session.
Second would be the cost, whether you send them by parcel or drive to a shop.
Carbide insert tools (CIT)
You can go this route but IMO there are situations that these tools can not handle, after all they are just a type of scraper.
There is also the fact that CIT are not used in the same manner as traditional tools. Learning to turn only with CIT tools will basically only teach you how to use one tool.
A small investment into a sharpening system can quickly pay for itself.
This all depends on what you want to do, what type and how much turning are you planning on doing.
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Joe Belcher
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #2 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 2:27pm
 
I imagine turning 3-4 hours per week. Making mainly small bowls and lidded boxes.
Didn't realize tools needed to be sharpened that often.
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #3 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 5:25pm
 
Put the grinder on a movable stand and push it out of the way when not needed but you REALLY DO need a grinder to sharpen your tools.

Some woods are so hard that you need to keep that edge as sharp as possible. You could also be turning and come upon a pocket of dirt or even a stone and dull the tool... just like a chainsaw.

Heck, put the grinder in your bathroom or bedroom or kitchen ( only possible if you're not married!!!) but get a grinder and a pair of CBN wheels. Smiley
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Don Stephan
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #4 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 7:23pm
 
Unlike say a plane blade or chisel, in turning the wood is moving past the blade at a high rate of speed, so the lathe tool is cutting a very long path of wood in a short period of time.

I sharpen "free hand" using Reed Gray's Robo Rest, and he just uploaded a new sharpening video to this forum.  You might find it interesting.  The vast vast majority of turners however use the Oneway or similar sharpening system.

Even if 30 minute drive, a local woodturning group can be a tremendous asset for turners at all levels, but especially for new turners.  Likely there will be multiple opportunities for mentors and members willing to allow you to test drive some of their tools before you have to make a purchase.
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Bill Moschler
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #5 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 8:34pm
 
I think you need to sharpen if you are going to turn.  I have one of the carbide insert tools but consider it a speciality tool.  And a set of three of the carbide tools probably costs a much as a couple of good gouges and a grinder.

On the other hand I just gave may daughter a set of the carbide tools since she wants to turn pens and cannot sharpen a pencil.  So I do understand going that route if you feel like you have to.  It will allow you to make things without a grinder.  But to me sharpening is just a requirement for a woodworkers skill set.

In any event, it is a correctable error if you do not like it which ever way you go.
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« Last Edit: Jul 11th, 2017 at 8:39pm by Bill Moschler »  
 
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Jerry Johansen
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #6 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 9:50pm
 
Learning to sharpen is a must.
Don Stephan brings up an important point: locate your area woodturning club and I'm sure you will find some excellent mentors.
Where are you locate? I think we can help you find a nearby club.
BTW- I believe there is a new design of CBN wheel that is selling for about $100.
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Joe Belcher
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #7 - Jul 12th, 2017 at 10:19am
 
I'll definitely be attending meetings with the local group before I start to purchase anything.
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Tom Coghill
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #8 - Jul 12th, 2017 at 11:51am
 
Turning = sharpening.  Learn as much as you can from the local resources you have near you. 

Really - one must know and modify the geometry of the tool to meet your need/preference.  This changes with wood type, moisture, grain direction, geometry of the bowl... the list goes on...

Learn from your locals, be sure that you are getting from the hobby what you seek.  Please don't get frustrated by learning on your own or thinking that things are not "perfect" on your first try.  Like anything, one doesn't know what you don't know, until you start to learn. Shocked
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John Cepko
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #9 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 9:26am
 
Not sharpening during turning is fine, if you like to sand, alot. Putting a fresh edge on the tool before those last few fine cuts makes all the difference in the world in sanding time.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #10 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 1:24pm
 
Not sharpening is no longer an option for me.  When I'm trying to shave down a ridge and can't pick up a shaving, the gouge starts chattering, et cetera,  I quickly get frustrated, which can lead to too much pressure on the wood, catches, and so on.  Recently I've been touching up the edge when I'm having trouble picking up a shaving, and found that a pick fresh edge often allowed me to pick up a shaving.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #11 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:53am
 
There has been more than one instance of some one getting a killer deal on a lathe and tools because the owner said 'It just wasn't fun any more.' The buyer gets the toys home and discovers that all the tools were dull.....

robo hippy
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John Grace
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #12 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 5:13pm
 
There's absolutely no harm in starting off with carbides or sticking with them for that matter.  I've used both extensively and the primary difference has been for me what grit you start sanding with?  Sure, high speed steel will leave a cleaner surface prior to sanding but it's certainly not a crime to work with carbides.  If you start with them and turn every now and again then you'll probably like them.  If you become a turning enthusiast, however, and turn daily or several times a week...you'll probably morph into traditional tools as the carbides will become too expensive to maintain sharp bits for.  Good luck...
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Steve Arnold
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #13 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 8:25pm
 
Joe Belcher wrote on Jul 11th, 2017 at 12:42pm:
Should I just go with carbide tools and quit over thinking things?


Absolutely not, in my opinion. If you have room for a lathe, then you can find room for a grinder. If you only turn using carbide tools, then you're missing out on one of the most enjoyable aspects of woodturning. (also my opinion.)

I think you should join your local chapter of the AAW and they can not only teach you to turn, but also teach you to sharpen your tools, all for free.

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Bob_Macgregor
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Re: Sharpening
Reply #14 - Jul 18th, 2017 at 8:07am
 
Do you own a bench sander?  If so, it is possible to use it to sharpen chisels. 
Having said that, I'd recommend a bench grinder for the long haul.
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